1885 1886 elections


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1885 1886 elections

  1. 1. LEAVING CERTIFICATE HISTORY CASE STUDY The Elections of 1885-86: issues and options LATER MODERN IRELAND: TOPIC 2 MOVEMENTS FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL REFORM, 1870-1914 A resource for teachers of Leaving Certificate History, developed by the National Library of Ireland in association with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment Written by: Dr Brian Kirby Steering Committee: Dr Ciaran Brady, Mr John Dredge, Dr Noel Kissane, Mr Gerry Lyne
  2. 2. 2 Contents Introduction 3 Biographical Notes 5 Glossary 9 Documents included in case study 11 Documents 12
  3. 3. 3 Introduction The Home Rule crisis of 1885 and 1886 was marked by two climactic general elections which resulted in the transformation of the Irish Parliamentary Party into a truly effective and disciplined political force at Westminster. The arrangement of documents in this booklet follows a sequence designed to illustrate the arguments used by the proponents and opponents of Home Rule. The outcome of each election is treated separately in documents relating to *Gladstone’s commitment to the Irish Question in these years. By 1885 Home Rule had become the dominant political issue and had general public support as a means of securing a worthwhile degree of independence (Document 1). The general election of 1885, which returned 86 nationalist M.P.s, was an impressive demonstration of *Charles Stewart Parnell’s power and seemed to offer a resounding vindication of the campaign for self- government (Document 2). Parnell’s clever political bargaining of 1885 derived from a belief that Home Rule could be secured more readily when a state of equilibrium existed between the two major parties at Westminster which would leave the Irish Parliamentary Party with the balance of power. In full knowledge that every vote counted, nothing was left to chance and the electioneering in both years was frenetic. With the Catholic hierarchy offering support to their congregations (Document 3), Parnell’s tightly disciplined and pledge-bound parliamentary party swept all before it. Parnell’s ability to extract the utmost advantage from any political context was the most marked feature of the bargaining that followed the election (Document 4). Students should examine the documents with a view to identifying the manner in which Parnell’s skilful leadership of a hitherto disparate movement ensured that Home Rule had an appeal which overlapped social and religious boundaries. The support of middle-class Protestant professionals (Document 5) lent some credibility to the movement in the eyes of the British political establishment. The Parnell myth, carefully fostered by a brilliant propaganda and media campaign, allowed the Home Rulers to tap into international sympathy (Document 6) which pressurized *Gladstone into adopting the cause of Irish self-government. There is little doubt that the result of the 1885 election was the decisive factor in *Gladstone’s conversion to Home Rule. Although he was accused by his opponents at the time and later by historians of abandoning principle in a reckless pursuit of power, Gladstone’s actions in early 1886 are crucial as they inaugurated what would become a lasting Liberal-Irish nationalist alliance at Westminster (Document 7). As a reaction to the development of the Home Rule movement along class and sectarian lines, a minority but vocal unionist voice emerged demanding the preservation of the union between Great Britain and Ireland (Document 8). Skilfully using the rhetoric of the opposition which had emerged in Ireland, the newly constituted Liberal Unionists exploited a ready-made font of arguments against the Parnellites and sympathetic Liberals (Document 9). Inseparable from opposition to Home Rule was the belief that its exponents were engaged in agrarian crime which had brought boycotting, murder and general mayhem to the Irish countryside (Document 10). Allegations of links to an extremist Fenian movement at home and abroad were used to sully the reputations of *Parnell and other nationalism leaders, while the Irish Parliamentary Party stood accused of planning to separate the two kingdoms by the force of arms.
  4. 4. 4 When it became publicly known that Gladstone had converted to supporting Home Rule, the Liberal Party began to fragment. Led by *Joseph Chamberlain who championed the Ulster Protestants, a significant section of Gladstone’s own party failed to support him in his efforts at settling the Irish Question. Gladstone articulated his plans for Home Rule in a bill which he introduced in parliament in April 1886 (Document 11). With the powers of any new Irish legislature severely restricted, it should be recognised that what was not included in the Home Rule bill was almost as significant as what it offered. The schism in the Liberal Party effectively ruined Gladstone’s proposals and the bill was narrowly defeated in a parliamentary vote. Gladstone accounted for his failure to secure Home Rule in his Address to his constituents (Document 12). Making a passionate plea for support in the forthcoming general election of 1886, Gladstone argued that in principle self-government for Ireland was right, making the case that it would ensure the consolidation of the Empire. The Home Rule bill and Gladstone’s Address are extremely significant historical documents as they reveal the depth of his commitment to Home Rule which had implications for the remainder of the nineteenth century. An edited transcript is included with each document. The Biographical Notes section contains short character sketches on the principal figures mentioned in the documents. A Glossary has also been added and should be integrated at the reading and initial comprehension stages of document study. Cross references with both the Biographical Notes and Glossary sections are indicated by an asterisk (*) and have been added in the document descriptions and transcripts where they seem most likely to assist the student. In addition, ‘The new electoral map of Ireland’ (*United Ireland, 19 December 1885) has been added to this introduction (p. xii). It should serve as a useful reference source for both teachers and students. The questions associated with each document range from description and commentary questions relating to the source to assessments of reliability and accuracy. Students should first consider where, when and why a document was produced before moving to more analytical questions which include the element of interpretation. Like other classes of historical documents, a visual source has a creator with a distinct point of view. Using visual documents requires careful analysis of both the content and point of view; students should also consider the symbols, caricatures and captions employed by cartoonists. It is obvious that the cartoons presented in this case study do not reflect a balanced or impartial view of the event or persons to which they refer; students will need to identify the artist’s viewpoint before making interpretative judgements on the content and accuracy of the source. Finally, students should be encouraged to place the subject matter of the document into a wider historical context and, if possible, make comparisons and correlations with other sources of evidence.
  5. 5. 5 Biographical Notes Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) Liberal, later Liberal Unionist; President of the Board of Trade, 1880-85. ‘Old Joe,’ as he was called, was a radical in as much as he was a member of the Unitarian Church and a firm believer in such core liberal principles as universal male suffrage, free public education and the disestablishement of the Church. On the Irish question, however, his resistance to Home Rule led to his leaving the Liberals and setting up the Liberal Unionist Party. In 1886 he formed an alliance with Lord Salisbury’s Conservatives which ensured the defeat of the Home Rule bill and Gladstone’s Liberals in the election of that year. In 1891 he became leader of the Liberal Unionists in the House of Commons and in 1895 he was appointed Colonial Secretary. True to his radical heritage, his control of the Liberal Unionists enabled him to pressurise the Conservative government into adopting a more progressive social policy. Lord Randolph Churchill (1849-95) A descendent of the duke of Marlborough, Lord Randolph was an Independent Conservative who vehemently opposed both the Liberal Party and Gladstone’s alliance with the Parnellites. In the years 1885 and 1886 he was active both in and outside parliament promoting opposition to Home Rule. On his trips to Belfast he outraged nationalists who accused him of stoking up sectarian resentment by coining such phrases as ‘Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right’. As a reward for these efforts the Conservative prime minister, Lord Salisbury, appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1886. John Joseph Clancy A scholar in Ancient Classics, Clancy was educated at Queen’s College Galway and served as editor of the Nation from 1880 to 1885. He was nationalist M.P. for North Dublin from 1885 to 1918. Parnell, at one point, censured him for advocating a policy of ‘wringing English necks.’ Nevertheless, he remained a true Parnellite, supporting his leader through the crisis in the early 1890s. Clanricarde, 2nd Marquis of, (1832-1917) Hubert George De Burgh-Canning One of the most eminent titled landlords in the west of Ireland, Clanricarde possessed a vast fortune mainly derived from his estate of 56,836 acres around Portumna, County Galway. Such wealth invariably brought with it political influence and the Marquis represented County Galway in parliament from 1867 to 1871. John Dillon (1851-1927) A leading Land League campaigner, Dillon was one of Parnell’s most committed lieutenants during the Land War of the early 1880s and advocated using the tactics of boycotting and legal intimidation to win tenant rights. Elected as M.P. for Tipperary in 1880, Dillon was arrested and jailed on several occasions. His consequent health problems led him to travel to America. He returned to contest the 1885 election at which he gained a seat for Mayo on Parnell’s Home Rule platform. Alongside William O’Brien and Timothy Harrington, Dillon was a key figure in the promotion
  6. 6. 6 of the Plan of Campaign in October 1886. Soon afterwards he faced the full wrath of the judiciary when he was arrested in December 1886 attempting to organise tenants on a Galway estate, being subsequently imprisoned. William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) Liberal, Prime Minister, 1868-74; 1880-85; Feb. 1886-July 1886; 1892-94. Gladstone was the ‘Grand Old Man’ of nineteenth-century British politics. Veering between tenant relief and coercion (both the land act and coercion act of 1881 were passed by his administration), Gladstone had mixed views on a solution to the Irish Question. By August 1885, however, he was ‘converted’ to Home Rule but only at the cost of splitting the Liberal party. Gladstone introduced the first Home Rule bill in April 1886 in the hopes of strengthening the Union and restoring dignity to English politics. Critically, he made no reference to Ulster. The Conservatives and disaffected M.P.s in his own party played the Union or ‘Orange’ card for all it was worth and the bill was defeated by 343 to 319 votes, a total of 93 breakaway Liberals led by Joseph Chamberlain voting against the bill. Following Gladstone’s defeat in the subsequent general election of 1886, the Tories, under Lord Salisbury, returned to power. Gladstone continued to fight for Home Rule until his retirement from politics in 1894. Lord Hartington (1833-1908) Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire, Liberal, later Liberal Unionist, Chief Secretary for Ireland 1871-74, Secretary of State for War, 1882-85. A leading aristocrat in the ranks of the Liberal party for many years, Hartington held a succession of senior posts in governments led by Gladstone. In 1886, however, he broke with Gladstone over the question of Home Rule and he became leader of the renegade element which seceded from the Liberals to form the Liberal Unionist Party. Queen Victoria requested that Hartington form a government in late 1886, but he declined, lending his support instead to Lord Salisbury’s Conservative administration. John Alexander Logan (1826-86) The son of an Irish doctor, Logan enjoyed a distinguished military career on the Union side in the American Civil War. Rising to the rank of major general, Logan fought at Vicksburg and was in overall command at the decisive siege of Atlanta. Elected as a republican senator for his home state of Illinois in 1871, Logan enjoyed widespread respect for his wartime conduct and was responsible for the inauguration of Memorial Day as a national holiday in 1868. Archbishop John McEvilly (d. 1902) McEvilly who was formerly bishop of Galway, succeeded John McHale as archbishop of Tuam on 7 November 1881. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Parnell, promising in 1885 to use his influence in favour of the Irish Parliamentary Party as it was only ‘through them alone can we expect in the present condition of political complications in England any permanent good for this country.’ Thomas Maguire (1831-89) Maguire was the first Catholic fellow of the predominately Protestant Trinity College, Dublin. He held the chair of classical composition and was a member of the university council. Violently opposed to Home Rule, Maguire was concerned that it would lead to clerical domination of higher education. He was an inaugural member of the pro-
  7. 7. 7 unionist association, the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union. As a controversialist and an articulate academic Maguire was noted for his virulent personal attacks upon Parnell. John Morley (1838-1923) Liberal, Chief Secretary for Ireland, Feb. 1886-Aug. 1886; 1892-95. A brilliant journalist and biographer, Morley was editor of the radical newspaper the Pall Mall Gazette when he entered parliament in 1885. On the radical wing of the Liberal party, he was a firm supporter of William Gladstone and Home Rule. As Chief Secretary for Ireland Morley moved to restore order in the country by easing the restrictions in place under the coercion acts and by actively promoting Parnell’s supporters. Morley was also instrumental in the drawing up of the first Home Rule bill presented to parliament in 1886. John Fergus O’Hea (1838-1921) A skilled Cork-born comic-artist, O’Hea began his career as a mural and banner painter for local tradesmen in his native city. His father was active in the nationalist Young Ireland movement and this may have sparked his interest in militant politics. He was a contributor to the Young Ireland newspaper, The Nation. By the early 1880s his cartoons regularly appeared in colour supplements issued by the Weekly Freeman, Young Ireland and Shamrock journals. O’Hea’s work illustrates the effectiveness of nationalist visual propaganda. James Francis Xavier O’Brien (1828-1905) O’Brien studied medicine but became active in the Fenian movement and was sentenced to be hanged for his involvement in the abortive rising of 1867. Having had his sentence commuted to life, O’Brien, like so many of the leading Fenians, went into exile on the continent where he continued his medical studies. Soon afterwards he made his way to the United States where he worked as a surgeon during the Civil War. Returning to Ireland, he played a prominent role in the Land War acting as General Secretary of the United Irish League of Great Britain. O’Brien served as M.P. for South Mayo from 1885 to 1895 and for Cork city from 1895 to 1905. John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890) A Boston-based journalist and poet, O’Reilly was born in Drogheda, County Louth and was involved in the Fenian movement from an early age. He enlisted in the British army for the purposes of recruiting for the I.R.B. but his activities were uncovered in 1866 and he was sentenced to twenty years penal servitude in Australia. In 1868, however, he escaped from a penal settlement near Freemantle and made his way to Philadelphia on board a whaling ship. In 1870 O’Reilly became editor of the Boston Pilot, acting as part-proprietor of the paper from 1876 until his death in 1890. As a result of his experiences in captivity, he adopted constitutional agitation as the only effective means of achieving independence for Ireland. He also acted as a champion of Native and African-American rights. Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-91) Born into a Protestant landed family in County Wicklow, in 1875 Parnell was elected as a Home Rule M.P. He earned a formidable reputation at Westminster and associated with Joseph Biggar in the adoption of ‘obstruction’ as a means of highlighting Irish grievances. Parnell progressed to the leadership of nationalist affairs through the adoption of ‘the New Departure’ and the foundation of the Land League
  8. 8. 8 in 1879. His achievement in securing the passage of the Land Act of 1881 allowed him to focus his energies on securing his much-cherished goal of Home Rule. Enforcing a ruthless code of discipline upon his party, Parnell was responsible for the sweeping success at the general election of 1885 which saw the return of an unprecedented 86 nationalist members. This left Parnell with the balance of power at Westminster and led directly to Gladstone’s conversion to Home Rule in 1886. Following the narrow defeat of the first Home Rule bill, Parnell’s reputation was further enhanced by his vindication at a commission set up to investigate his alleged involvement in the Phoenix Park murders. Soon afterwards, however, his career was ruined by personal scandal when in 1889 he was named as correspondent in the O’Shea divorce case. Having been rejected by Gladstone and the majority of his own party, Parnell fought an arduous by-election campaign and died must probably of coronary thrombosis in Brighton on 6 October 1891. Parnell’s lasting achievement was his harnessing of both extremist and constitutional strands of Irish nationalist politics. Sir Charles Russell (1832-1900) Lord Killowen, Liberal; Attorney General, Feb.1886-July 1886; 1892-94; Lord Chief Justice of England, 1894-1900. Born in Newry, County Down, Charles Russell, a Catholic, studied law at Trinity College Dublin before moving in 1856 to London where he became a successful Queen’s Counsel. From this time onwards Russell took a keen interest in Irish affairs and was returned in 1880 as an Independent Liberal M.P. for Dundalk. Although never a member of the Parnellite party, Russell was known to be sympathetic; he opposed the use of coercion and wrote many letters to newspapers on the Irish Land Question. Supporting Home Rule as a means of strengthening ties between Ireland and Britain, Russell believed an Irish parliament to be an essential remedy for Ireland’s problems. He was leading counsel for Parnell during the Parnell Commission of 1888-90, being the key figure in undermining the evidence associating Parnell with the Phoenix Park murderers. Russell’s opening speech for the defence is considered one of the great nineteenth-century treatises on the Irish Question. Lord Salisbury (1830-1903) Robert Gascoyne Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Salisbury, Conservative, Prime Minister, 1885-86; 1886-92; 1895-1902. Salisbury was leader of the Conservative (Tory) Party in Britain in the period 1880- 1902. He was a staunch opponent of Home Rule and a defender of the Church of England establishment. Following the defeat of the first Home Rule bill in 1886 Salisbury formed a government with the support of disaffected Liberals who, under the leadership of Joseph Chamberlain, styled themselves ‘Liberal Unionists’. Archbishop William Joseph Walsh (1841-1921) Although not favoured by the British government, Walsh was appointed Archbishop of Dublin in 1885. Active in the nationalist movements led by Parnell, William Walsh supported both constitutional agitation for Home Rule and in 1886 the Plan of Campaign. Walsh became an extremely influential figure in the Irish church and was instrumental in the attempts to oust Parnell once the storm surrounding the O’Shea affair broke.
  9. 9. 9 Glossary The Freeman’s Journal (1763-1924) One of the leading newspapers of eighteenth-century Ireland, The Freeman’s Journal was founded by Charles Lucas in 1763 as a voice for independent civic politics in Dublin. Challenging government ministers and defending Protestant liberties, the newspaper served as a mouthpiece for politicians such as Henry Grattan and Henry Flood. By the late 1880s, however, it acted as the primary nationalist daily newspaper for the Parnellite movement. Many young journalists cut their teeth with the paper, most notably, perhaps, William O’Brien who was afterwards editor of United Ireland. The Irish World (1870- ) A radical weekly newspaper found and published in New York by the prominent Land League campaigner, Patrick Ford (1873-1913). From its foundation the paper supported the main nationalist movements, including the Fenians, the Land League and Home Rule. It had a wide circulation in Ireland and Britain, and was kept under close supervision by government officials. Aside from its support for nationalist politics in Ireland, the Irish World also espoused a strong anti-imperialist stance and championed the cause of Native Americans and trade unionists. Moonlighters A term for secret societies who were frequently engaged in night-time intimidation, cattle-maiming and other acts of rural sabotage directed at landlords. Descended from the Munster Whiteboy tradition of the mid-eighteenth century, it is believed that the first group of ‘Moonlighters’ was formed in Castleisland, County Kerry in 1879. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (also known as the Viceroy or, in the Middle Ages, Lord Deputy) was the political head of the British administration in Ireland. As the title ‘Viceroy’ suggested, the holder was the crown’s representative and the individual who held the post was invariably an aristocrat. The day-to-day role of governing Ireland fell to the Chief Secretary, the Under-Secretary and other career civil servants who ran the administration from Dublin Castle. National League A nationalist organisation set up by Parnell at a conference in Dublin in October 1882 to promote Home Rule. Like its predecessor, the Land League, the organisation consisted of local branches, most members being elected to represent local issues. The National League worked to secure support for the Irish Parliamentary Party and was responsible for much of the party’s electoral success in the late 1880s. It remained a potent force until the split in the nationalist movement brought about by the Parnell divorce scandal. Plan of Campaign Established in response to a renewed slump in agricultural prices, general tenant distress and a spate of evictions, the Plan was devised by leading nationalist M.P.s, John Dillon, Timothy C. Harrington and William O’Brien. First published in October 1886, in the Parnellite mouthpiece, United Ireland, the Plan organized tenants in withholding rents which were devoted to the support of evicted tenants. Systematic
  10. 10. 10 boycotts and legal challenges were the stock-in-trade of the Plan and served to re- ignite the land war particularly in the south and west of the country. United Ireland (1881-98) Founded by Parnell in 1881 to promote the interests of the Land League, United Ireland was edited from 1881 to 1890 by William O’Brien M.P., a close associate of Parnell. The newspaper described itself as the ‘official organ’ of the Irish Parliamentary Party and published cartoons and caricatures in order to circulate the nationalist message to a wider audience. In the hands of a journalist as skilled as O’Brien United Ireland served as an important propaganda tool for Parnell and in 1886 was to the fore in elaborating the Plan of Campaign. It was also instrumental in politicising the land issue, in elucidating the doctrine of Home Rule and in promoting interest in a revival of Gaelic culture throughout the 1890s.
  11. 11. 11 Documents included in case study Documents favourable to Parnell and Home Rule 1. A cartoon, ‘Independence not Separation’ (Weekly Freeman, 10 Oct. 1885). 2. A pamphlet by *John Joseph Clancy, Tracts on the Irish Question – no. 2 – the elections of 1885, publicising the victory of the Irish Parliamentary Party at the 1885 general election (Dublin, 1886). 3. An extract from the diary of Sir George Fottrell, 11 Sept. 1885, referring to the arrival of the new Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, his support for Home Rule and a meeting with *Sir Charles Russell (N.L.I. MS 33, 670). 4. A cartoon, ‘The General Election Game’ (Weekly Freeman, 28 Nov. 1885). 5. Address to the Protestants of Ireland, issued by an association of Protestants urging support of Home Rule, 23 June 1886 (N.L.I. Minute book and notices of the Irish Protestant Home Rule Association, MS 3657). 6. An article by Senator *John A. Logan of Illinois requesting that the British government immediately grant Irish Home Rule (*Irish World, 30 Jan. 1886 in N.L.I. MS 9211/f. 92). 7. Edited copy by *J.F.X. O’Brien of the Freeman’s Journal report (21 December 1886) of a speech by *John Dillon (N.L.I. Papers of J.F.X. O’Brien, MS 9226/ff 135-36). Documents opposed to Parnell and Home Rule 8. An extract from a report of the first annual general meeting of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union (Irish Times, 9 January 1886). 9. A cartoon, ‘A moonlight flitting’ (St. Stephen’s Review, 31 July 1886). 10. A pamphlet by *Thomas Maguire, Reasons why Britons should oppose Home Rule (Dublin, 1886). Documents relating to Gladstone’s government 11. Extract from A bill to amend the provision for the future government of Ireland (House of Commons Bill (1886), [181]). 12. A pamphlet, Address to the electors of Midlothian by the Right Hon. W.E. *Gladstone ([London], 1886).
  12. 12. 12 Document 1 A cartoon, ‘Independence not Separation’ (Weekly Freeman, 10 Oct. 1885). Description of Cartoon This cartoon was a supplement to the Weekly Freeman, a nationalist newspaper published in Dublin from 1871 to 1924. Cartoon supplements usually commented on a contemporary political event. This drawing is one of a series by *John Fergus O’Hea (?1838-1922), the Weekly Freeman’s principal artist. Here John Bull (England) and a Scot argue with their neighbours, Pat and biddy (Ireland). The use of cartoons Nineteenth-century political cartoons featured the leading issues of the day. Usually nationalist cartoons touched upon the issue of government coercion. Some depicted *Parnell and members of the Home Rule movement in heroic guise or showed the suffering of a symbolic Erin as she laboured under English rule. These cartoons were simply an extension of verbal propaganda and were extremely effective at representing and popularising the nationalist agenda. Available at a relatively low cost week after week and appearing in Parnellite-sponsored newspapers such as *United Ireland, they served to fortify spirits and instil pride through Land League and *National League campaigns. When examining political cartoons of this era one should look out for the use of symbolism, exaggeration, stereotyping, caricature and humour as they frequently reveal the cartoonist’s intentions. Caption Independence not Separation John Bull – “I swear by the Eternal Jingo, much as I hate you, I will never consent to our ‘Separation’.” Pat. – “Look here, Bull, you’re only making an ass of yourself; don’t you see that unfortunately we can never be separated, our premises are built too close for that, but that’s no reason you should meddle in my domestic affairs, and for the future, myself and Biddy here, will manage our own little house, and you and Sawney [Scotland] can look after look your own place” Biddy – “O! Pat, jewel, will you try to keep that noisy, nasty man quiet – he quite upsets me.” Document Questions Description and Comprehension What is happening in the cartoon? Describe the characters portrayed. Are the characters drawn realistically or are they exaggerated?
  13. 13. 13 Interpretation and Criticism To what issue is the cartoon referring? What techniques or satirical devices does the cartoonist employ? What is the cartoon’s message? Who is the cartoon aimed at? Explain how the words in the caption clarify the symbolism used by the cartoonist. Does the cartoon clearly convey the desired message? Give reasons for your answer. Is the cartoonist’s use of national stereotypes successful? Wider Context Relate the concerns of the cartoonist to the campaign for Home Rule. Has the cartoon changed your interpretation of this campaign? Explain. How has the cartoon added to your knowledge of how nationalists appealed to the public for support of Home Rule with both direct and indirect messages?
  14. 14. 14 Document 2 A pamphlet by *John Joseph Clancy, Tracts on the Irish Question – no. 2 – the elections of 1885, publicising the victory of the Irish Parliamentary Party at the 1885 general election (Dublin, 1886). Description of Document In election years in Ireland the production of short pamphlets was phenomenal. Designed to promote interest in election issues they tended to offer one-sided and wholly un-reliable views of policies and issues. Written by the Home Rule M.P. for North Dublin, *John Joseph Clancy, this pamphlet formed part of a series produced for the *National League primarily for election purposes. Aside from explaining the nationalist cause, these documents provided an alternative voice in opposition to the abundant unionist literature in circulation in Dublin at the time. In this particular extract Clancy attempts to present the Irish Parliamentary Party’s stunning election success of 1885 as proof of the nation’s desire for self-government. Edited Transcript of Document Minimizing the Popular Triumph Various attempts have been made to minimize the unprecedented victory, won last November in Ireland, until it would almost seem as if there had been no popular victory at all. It has been said- 1. That the question of self-government was not really the question before the Irish Electors last November, especially in Ulster; 2. That the Protestants of Ireland were all on the Anti-National side; 3. That the nationalist victories were all won by the force of intimidation; 4. That the battle was really lost to the “Loyalist” cause in the Revision Courts, to which the “Loyalists” did not pay as much attention as they might have done, and that the polls are delusive; 5. That the nationalist members were mainly elected by illiterate voters; 6. That the nationalist majority of electors disclosed by the elections was not the large one supposed, but a very small one, if, indeed, there was a majority at all. The Question at the Election As a matter of notorious fact, every Irish candidate who addressed a constituency last November, declared in favour of a Native Parliament, and all such candidates, before addressing their constituencies, took a public pledge to sit, act, and vote together in the House of Commons. The notion that such men as Mr. Healy, Mr. Biggar, and Mr. *William O’Brien, the editor of *United Ireland – all members for Ulster constituencies – could be supposed, even if they never said a word on the subject of self-government, to be mere land law reformers, is absurd.
  15. 15. 15 Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? In what circumstances was the document produced? What accusations is Clancy attempting to counter? [Minimizing the Popular Triumph] What does Clancy say about the attitude of Irish Protestants to Home Rule? [Minimizing the Popular Triumph] What precisely does Clancy say about the nationalist M.P.’s, Timothy Healy, Joseph Biggar and William O’Brien? [The Question at the Election] Interpretation and Criticism Why does Clancy place ‘Loyalists’ in inverted commas? What does he think of his opponents? What points of view does Clancy express? Does Clancy have any opinions or interests which might have influenced what he said? Why does Clancy place such emphasis upon the fact that Healy, Biggar and O’Brien represented Ulster constituencies? Wider Context and Comparison Why was the attitude of southern Irish Protestants such a key issue for the Parnellites to address? In what ways do Clancy’s assessment of the significance of the results in the 1885 parliamentary election differ from the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union’s interpretation in Document 8? Which account is the more credible? Why?
  16. 16. 16 Document 3 An extract from the diary of Sir George Fottrell, 11 Sept. 1885, referring to the arrival of the new Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, his support for Home Rule and a meeting with *Sir Charles Russell (N.L.I. MS 33, 670). Description of Document This is an extract from the diary of Sir George Fottrell (1824-1925). Describing himself as both a ‘consistent nationalist’ and a ‘crown official’ Fottrell was a close acquaintance of Sir Robert Hamilton, the under secretary for Ireland. In October 1884 Fottrell was appointed clerk of the crown for Dublin city and county on Hamilton’s recommendation. Fottrell’s diary covers the period from 1885 to 1887 and is concerned principally with Parnell and the Home Rule question. It provides a very personal insight into the climactic events of the period and supplies first-hand information on the thinking of many of the leading figures in the Irish administration. Edited Transcript of Document 1885, 11 September. Dr. *Walsh the new Archbishop of Dublin entered Dublin about a week ago. He met with a very enthusiastic reception from the people but the absence of the richer class of Catholics was most marked. In reply to an address presented to the Archbishop on his arrival he emphatically stated his opinion that peace & content could never reign in Ireland until she had won a separate legislature. This is I believe the first instance in History on which a Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin openly expressed himself in favour of an Irish Parliament. *Dr. Walsh’s declaration renders it certain that the Irish bishops to a man may now be counted among Mr. Parnell’s followers. I doubt if the same could at any time after 1829 have been said of O’Connell. *Charles Russell, Q.C. M.P., came to Dublin a couple of days ago. I had a long chat with him today. He told me that he met Dr. *McEvilly the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam on the day before yesterday & that the latter told him there was considerable political apathy in the west of Ireland & that he accounted for it [by referring to] the fact that the farmers believe they have got nearly all the personal benefit they are likely to receive and that they object to the prospect of men of a low social position being almost the only candidates for parliamentary honours owing to the imposition of the ‘pledge’ proclamation by *Parnell; the ground for the objection is not however their dislike of being represented by men of a comparatively low social position, but is the belief that they the farmers will be called upon to contribute to the support of members who have not means of their own to support them. This may be true. I doubt its accuracy & I venture to predict that west of the Shannon there will not be a candidate returned who will not take the Parnell pledge.
  17. 17. 17 Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? For what purpose was it written? What does Fottrell say about the new archbishop’s views on Home Rule? [Paragraph, Dr. Walsh…] Why is Fottrell surprised by the declaration in favor of the new archbishop of Dublin in favour of a separate legislature for Ireland? [Paragraph, This is I believe…] What is said about Parnell’s pledge in the source? [Paragraph, Charles Russell…] Interpretation and Criticism Was the document meant to be private or public? Fottrell does not appear to be wholly convinced by Sir Charles Russell’s opinions. Why is he so unmoved by what Russell has to say? What impression does this document give of the supporters of Parnell’s Home Rule movement? Wider Context Why were Catholic bishops hesitant about public declarations of support for Parnell’s campaign for Home Rule? Parnell’s pledge was designed to create a strong and tightly disciplined party. How does the information in this document add to your understanding of the role of the pledge in securing electoral success for the Irish Parliamentary Party under Parnell? What other historical sources would help you to check the conclusions reached in this document?
  18. 18. 18 Document 4 A cartoon, ‘The General Election Game,’ (Weekly Freeman, 28 Nov. 1885). Description of Cartoon Tories, *Lord Salisbury and *Randolph Churchill and Liberals, *William Gladstone and *Joseph Chamberlain sit around a card table. *Parnell (‘the Irish Chief’) is the dealer. Salisbury has been dealt a hand which includes the ‘Irish Vote.’ The election of 1885 has clearly left Parnell’s party in a strong position and this cartoon by *John Fergus O’Hea seeks to parody the dilemma in which members of the British political establishment find themselves as they court the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Caption The General Election Game (The “Irish Chief” has just dealt the Cards.) The Grand Old Man To “Brum”[Birmingham] Joe [*Chamberlain] – “That is a poor hand to ‘go on’ – he must have given those other fellows the Trump Card.” Randy, to *Salisbury – By Jingo! That is a ‘Nap’ [winning] hand. Go on the Irish Card, and you must win.’ Document Questions Description and Comprehension What is happening in the cartoon? Describe the characters portrayed? Are there any characters in the cartoon with whom you are unfamiliar? Interpretation and Criticism Check the date of the cartoon’s publication. To what issue or event is the cartoon referring? Who is the cartoon aimed at? What does the caption mean? Is it meant to be humorous or ironic? Discuss the significance of the term ‘Irish Card’ in the caption. How does the caption reinforce the cartoon’s primary message? Would you understand the cartoon’s message without the caption? Does the cartoon clearly convey the desired message?
  19. 19. 19 Wider Context What is the connection between the work of the cartoonist and the campaign for Home Rule? Comment on the physical appearance of the persons in the cartoon? Is it the cartoonist’s intention simply to poke fun at British politicians? What can visual texts (such as this cartoon) illuminate that written sources do not reveal?
  20. 20. 20 Document 5 Address to the Protestants of Ireland, issued by an association of Protestants urging support for Home Rule, 23 June 1886 (N.L.I. Minute book and notices of the Irish Protestant Home Rule Association, MS 3657). Description of Document This document, issued by the Irish Protestant Home Rule Association, represents an attempt by this newly-founded organization to induce Protestants to support Home Rule. As a public declaration of principles, the document’s presentation and content is straightforward. The notice outlines the perceived advantages of Home Rule, castigates its opponents and generally promotes the work and membership of the association. The document is of interest in as it shows that the impetus for the founding of the association came from Protestants in Belfast. Edited Transcript of Document Irish Protestant Home Rule Association _______ ADDRESS To the Protestants of Ireland Protestant Fellow Countrymen, At the present crisis, when the political energies and thought of the people of these countries are concentrated upon the practical solution of the great problem of better government of Ireland, this Association has been formed in order to unite all classes and denominations of Protestants in promoting a safe, equitable, and permanent settlement of the question. It is not our desire to separate ourselves from our Roman Catholic Countrymen … Attempts have been made to create in the minds of our fellow citizens in England and Scotland groundless apprehensions of dangers to us of religious persecution, or the imposition of civil disabilities, and by the appeals to religious bigotry and party rancour to excite in our minds a bitter hatred and distrust of our own countrymen…we reject with scorn the calumny [slander] that the lives and liberties of Protestant Irishmen would be imperiled by the restoration of an Irish Parliament. The foremost statesman of the century [*Gladstone], aided by his loyal associates in the Cabinet, and supported by the great English and Scotch Liberal Party, the true Representatives of the People, has undertaken the task of creating a responsible English Government. He seeks to remove Irish local affairs from the arena of English Party strife … Against this great statesman are marshalled the combined forces of those territorial and class interests whose influence in maintaining social conditions
  21. 21. 21 which have tended to raise rents and reduce wages, has perpetuated pauperism and crime, driven away capital, discouraged manufactures, and disorganised commerce … We are aware, by communications from many quarters that efforts have been made by threats of social ostracism, business losses, and of other penalties to deter Irish Protestants who are favourable to Irish Self-Government from publicly declaring their opinions at this crisis. Nevertheless, we earnestly appeal to them to boldly take that position in the popular movement of which we are confident the verdict of posterity will approve … Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? For what purpose was it written? What is said in the address about the attempts to excite religious hatred amongst Irish Protestants? [Paragraph, It is not our desire…] What is said about Gladstone’s attempts to win Home Rule for Ireland? [Paragraph, The foremost statesman…] To whom are the threats of ‘social ostracism’ made? [Paragraph, We are aware…] Interpretation and Criticism How comprehensively is the case put forward for Home Rule? Is the argument convincing? The address suggests that large numbers of Irish Protestants favoured Home Rule; do you think this assumption accurate? How does the document characterize the opponents of Home Rule? Wider Context Outline the obstacles which faced the Protestant Home Rule Association in its efforts to convince Irish Protestants that self-government would secure their civil and religious liberties? Does the evidence in this document shed light on the reasons why Home Rule had become a central issue in Irish political, economic and social life by 1886?
  22. 22. 22 Document 6 An article by Senator *John A. Logan of Illinois requesting that the British government immediately grant Irish Home Rule (*Irish World, 30 Jan. 1886 in N.L.I. MS 9211/f. 92). Description of Document This extract from the *Irish World published in New York comes from a volume of newspaper cuttings presented to Gladstone in 1886 by the Irish National League of America. Designed to impress upon the British Prime Minister the depth of feeling in the United States on the issue of Home Rule, the volume included articles and letters from newspapers across America. Founded in 1870 by Patrick Ford, a well-known activist in American Land League circles, the Irish World routinely publicized the activities of Parnell and attempted to promote support for the cause of Irish self- government. Having written to various prominent politicians in Washington inviting them to comment on Gladstone’s attempts to secure self-government for Ireland, the Irish World printed a response from the Civil War hero, Senator *John A. Logan of Illinois. Edited Transcript of Document Its [the English Nation’s] dealing with the Irish question has not been marked with broad statesmanship, wise administration, nor due regard to equity, justice or common expediency. The world is familiar with this fact, however the English nation may seek to blind itself to the truth. The sentiment and sympathy of all liberty-loving people are opposed to the English treatment of the Irish subject. Americans by all of their traditions, their professions, and all of their hopes, must be opposed to it. It will be in the interest of national justice as well as to the direct advantage of the English people themselves if they can only realize the general prevalence of this feeling among the people of this country. Without entering more extensively into the question than the scope of your letter will prescribe, I have to express the conviction that the least, and the very least that the English government can now do in reparation of the mistakes and wrongs of the past is to have a Parliament in fact, and not merely in name. It should not be limited to the functions of a board of supervisors whose powers are exhausted in the repairs of roads, bridges etc., but should be endowed with faculties to legislate upon internal, economic and other affairs of the State, so as to give vitality to its home interests, education to its children, prosperity and contentment to its people. …By continuous disregard of right and justice England once lost the territory of an Empire, though the nations gained an asylum of Freedom thereby. So the England of 1776 might send a message to the England of to-day, and suggest that the incident may not be forgotten.
  23. 23. 23 Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? In what circumstances was it written? How does Logan characterise American opinion on England’s treatment of the Irish Question? [Paragraph, Its [the English Nation’s]..] According to Logan how extensive should the powers granted to Ireland under home Rule be? [Paragraph, Without entering more…] Is there any sense of threat in Logan’s letter? [Paragraph, By continuous disregard…] Interpretation and Criticism Does Logan have a deeply ingrained sense of grievance against England? Write an appraisal of Logan’s letter stating whether you agree or disagree with his arguments? From the language and narrative style of Logan’s letter what can be said about the political stance of the Irish World? Does Logan’s letter reveal any assumptions on the Irish situation rooted in the experience of American history? Why does Logan invoke this history as a lesson for the British? Wider Context Do you believe articles like Logan’s would have changed Gladstone’s view on Home Rule? Extracting evidence from this document and other sources, evaluate the potential of pressure from America in the campaign to achieve Irish legislative independence in the late 1880s. How would you account for the widespread acceptance by Americans of Logan’s views on Ireland?
  24. 24. 24 Document 7 Edited copy by *J.F.X. O’Brien of the *Freeman’s Journal report (21 December 1886) of a speech by *John Dillon (N.L.I. Papers of J.F.X. O’Brien, MS 9226/ff 135- 36). Description of Document An edited extract from a report of *John Dillon’s speech at an Irish *National League meeting in Dublin in December 1886 printed in the *Freeman’s Journal and transcribed into a journal by Dillon’s nationalist colleague, *J.F.X. O’Brien. Statements and issues, which O’Brien believed were significant, are underlined throughout the extract. There are also various annotations and summaries in the margin of the document. Involved from the outset in the organisation of the *Plan of Campaign with *William O’Brien and Timothy Harrington, Dillon asserts the merits of the plan and censures in turn the principles underlying Irish landlordism, the Irish judicial system, *Lord Salisbury and the Tory administration. Dillon also refers to his recent arrest at Loughrea for organising a no-rent strike on a local estate. With the defeat of Home Rule at Westminster still fresh in his mind, Dillon’s vigorous assault on the Conservatives is significant. Edited Transcript of Document ‘He [Dillon] claimed that the Liberal Party (*Gladstone) having with almost the whole of the late Executive Government of England in the last session of Parliament supporting Parnell’s (Tenant Relief) Bill pledged themselves to the proposition contained in that Bill i.e. that thousands of families in Ireland could not pay the full rents without risk of starvation and thereby the Liberal Party have contracted a very solemn duty towards us in the present crisis. Even the Executive Government of Ireland, when they came over from Parliament were so impressed by the facts brought to their notice by the reports of their own officials, they departed from the policy indicated by them in the debate on Parnell’s bill and in some parts got them to reduce rents. This pressure most strongly used for *Kerry Moonlighters – while peaceful Connaught peasants were left to the mercy of the Marquis of *Clanricarde – [we have a] right to call [the] public attention of England and Ireland to this fact – we have therefore the Liberal Party and the Irish Executive in agreement as to the dangers threatening Irish Tenants and the necessity of protecting them from the consequences of the exertions of landlords of their full legal rights… The *Plan of Campaign was for 2 months published in newspapers, advocated and recommended on public platforms in [the] presence of Government supporters. And all this time not a whisper as to any illegality from [the] Irish Executive…But the triumphant success of the Plan terrified the Landlords, the whole Tory party dragging with it its tail of dissident liberals (*Hartington, *Chamberlain &co) finally forced the hand of the Irish Executive… ‘Just before Government changed their policy to enter upon their present career the *Marquis Salisbury delivered a speech in which he described Irish tenants as beggars, mendicants on the highway – to whom the landlord might in their charity make
  25. 25. 25 concessions – but if landlords did not so choose to act – tenants should either pay up in full or if unable to pay, give up their homes and go out on the highway. Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? For what purpose was it written? Are there people or issues mentioned by Dillon with which you are unfamiliar? What does Dillon say about the actions of the Liberal government under Gladstone? [Paragraph, ‘He claimed that…] Who, according to Dillon, were the natural allies of Irish landlords? [Paragraph, [The] Plan of Campaign was…] What was Lord Salisbury’s ‘advice’ to Irish tenants? [Paragraph, ‘Just before Gover[nment]t…] Interpretation and Criticism What audience did Dillon have in mind when he made his speech? Consider the effectiveness of Dillon’s speech as a piece of nationalist propaganda? What opinions or interests may have prompted Dillon to make this speech? Wider Context In his speech does Dillon introduce a wider political dimension into the campaign for tenant rights? How does this document illustrate the extent to which the Liberal Party’s alliance with Irish nationalists transformed the campaign for Home Rule? What does Dillon’s speech reveal about the hopes and fears of Irish nationalists at the close of 1886?
  26. 26. 26 Document 8 An extract from a report of the first annual general meeting of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union (Irish Times, 9 January 1886). Description of Document The opponents of Home Rule were quick to realize the threat posed by Parnell’s revitalized party and mobilized their forces for the ensuing election campaign. To this end the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union (I.L.P.U.) was founded in Dublin on 1 May 1885, though it did not announce its existence to the public until October. Taking advantage of Protestant social solidarity, wealth and connections with prominent British politicians, the I.L.P.U. hoped to fight Parnell in the southern provinces and did so on a single platform, the defence of the Union. Operating from offices on Dublin’s Dawson Street, the I.L.P.U. adhered strictly to legal and constitutional action and widely disseminated anti-Parnellite literature during the election. Its leaflets and pamphlets were circulated to draw attention to the supposedly malevolent devices and tactics of the Parnellites. In this particular extract from the pro-unionist Irish Times, coverage is given to the report of the executive committee of the I.L.P.U. at its first general meeting. The association is convinced of the need to dispel the belief that a landside in favour of Home Rule had taken place in the general election of 1885. Edited Transcript of Document The Union published and circulated 286,000 leaflets and pamphlets during the elections irrespective of those put in circulation by the candidates themselves. Special attention is directed to the Irish election returns, with details of voting in contested elections, which were issued by the union at the close of the elections. The following facts have been brought out by the action of the I.L.P.U. Taking together all the contested elections in Ireland, the number of votes cast for Separation barely exceeded one-half of the electors; one quarter, roughly speaking, voted against Separation, and the remaining quarter abstained from voting. If the representation of all Ireland were at all in proportion to the number of votes given, the Unionists would have 34 representatives, the Separatists 69. As is already known, the operations of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union were confined to the three Southern provinces of Munster, Leinster and Connaught. For these three provinces 52 contests in all took place and there were 18 uncontested elections. The I.L.P.U. contributed to the expenses of the Unionist candidates in accordance with the circular issued to its supporters, subsidising candidates to an extent [that covered] the sheriff’s nomination fees. For the purpose of the association a considerable sum was subscribed, each subscriber receiving a formal receipt, with the undertaking that neither the name nor the amount of his subscription should be made public without the sanction of such. For this reason no list of subscribers is published.
  27. 27. 27 Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? For what purpose was it written? What action did the I.L.P.U. undertake in order to support anti-Home Rule candidates in the general election? [Paragraph, The union published…and Paragraph, The I.L.P.U. contributed to…] According to the I.L.P.U. how many people voted for separatists? [Paragraph, Taking together all the…] Why was no list of subscribers to the fund supporting Unionist candidates published? [Paragraph, For the purpose of…] Interpretation and Criticism How convincing is the argument put forward by the I.L.P.U. in relation to the outcome of the 1885 election? Is there any sense that the I.L.P.U. is refusing to accept the reality that nationalists could legitimately claim to represent the majority of electors of Ireland? Use the evidence in ‘The new electoral map of Ireland’ (United Ireland, 19 December 1885) to critically examine the I.L.P.U’s claims? What can be inferred from the document about the underlying concerns of Irish Protestants in 1886? Wider Context and Comparison How did the loyalist and unionist population of Ireland respond to Parnell’s electoral campaign of 1885? Compare and contrast the I.L.P.U.’s position on the outcome of the election of 1885 with the interpretation of the nationalist M.P., John Clancy, in Document 1. In what way do the assessments differ? Discuss the reasons for Irish unionist opposition to Home Rule.
  28. 28. 28 Document 9 A cartoon, ‘A moonlight flitting’ (St. Stephen’s Review, 31 July 1886). Description of Cartoon Having been defeated in the election of 1886 which he called in order to obtain support for his Home Rule policy, a gloomy *Gladstone prepares to exit Downing Street by night. He is accompanied by his son Herbert and other members of the Liberal party who help him with the symbolic baggage of office including ‘Unfulfilled Promises’, the ‘Home Rule bill’, the ‘Disruption Bill’, ‘Fenian Correspondence’ and ‘Thoughts of Dynamite.’ This cartoon appeared in the weekly magazine, St. Stephens’s Review, published in London. Drawn by Tom Merry (1853- 1902), the paper’s chief cartoonist, this colour cartoon was sold as a supplement. Caption ‘A moonlight flitting.’ Document Questions Description and Comprehension Describe what is happening in this cartoon. Describe the characters portrayed. Are the characters depicted realistically? Interpretation and Criticism Check the year and date of the cartoon. To what specific event or issue is the cartoon referring? What do you know about the circumstances which led to the events depicted in this cartoon? What message is the cartoonist attempting to convey by the darkened atmosphere and the caption, ‘a moonlight flitting’? Identify the bags and objects which the departing Gladstone is taking with him and describe what each represents. Are the characters represented in a positive or negative manner? Can you infer what the cartoonist thought of Gladstone?
  29. 29. 29 Wider Context and Comparison In what way do visual sources (such as this cartoon) contribute to your understanding of the results of Parnell’s alliance with Gladstone in 1886? How successful is the cartoonist in conveying the desired message? What other historical sources can be used to check your conclusions about this particular cartoon?
  30. 30. 30 Document 10 A pamphlet by *Thomas Maguire, Reasons why Britons should oppose Home Rule (Dublin, 1886). Description of document *Thomas Maguire was professor of moral philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. A particularly vocal opponent of Home Rule, he was well known for his outrageous attacks upon Parnell and other leading members of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Addressing the public in both Britain and Ireland, this pamphlet was clearly written by Maguire with the intent of rousing opposition to Home Rule. It is interspersed with insults, threats and denunciations of those involved with the nationalist movement. Edited Transcript of Document Home Rule is to be granted, because the Parnellites are estranged from England, and in default of getting what they howl for, threaten, like *Archbishop Walsh, the *Irish World, *J.B. O’Reilly, and the *Freeman’s Journal, daggers and dynamite. As to estrangement, if the Parnellites cannot appreciate British Freedom – the largest the world ever saw – it shows they are not fit for Home Rule … To those who threaten dagger and dynamite I again point out there is plenty of rope in England, and no prohibitive duty is as yet put on that article in the Irish tariff. Englishmen may like to see what is promised them. First, the Irish World:- “The British Government should bear this fully in mind that…they will make it imperative on Irishmen to have recourse to scientific methods. As Archbishop Walsh plainly put it, the question is being narrowed down to the alternative, either grant Home Rule or be prepared for dynamite … Moral force has got to be superseded by physical force … Science has advanced too far not to permit of terrible retaliation with little effect and less effort … Let England beware, and not invite a policy of retaliation which will be more dangerous and destructive than any effort of her army or navy … “We are at war, and the belligerent code of our own making, which we lay down is, that we shall set fire to London in 500 places at once; that we shall kill by bombs and blow up people in the street at random; that we shall kill by bombs, and fire, and knife, and care nothing as to whom or how many we kill, so long as they are found within the four corners of England. WE HAVE NO GRIEVANCE – WE ADVANCE NO REASONS. WE SIMPLY SAY WE WANT A CERTAIN THING, AND WE SHALL HAVE IT BECAUSE WE THINK FIT. [OR] ELSE INDISCRIMIATE SLAUGHTER. Next, *J.B. O’Reilly, Boston Pilot, in Evening Mail, March, 27, 1886:- “The deliberate speech of Mr. Gladstone will Justify Irishmen for the retaliation of despair in case the [Home Rule] Bill be defeated.”
  31. 31. 31 And lastly, the Freeman, April 12, 1886:- “It would be well if those who are so clamorously calling for the rejection of Mr. Gladstone’s [Home Rule] Bill were capable of estimating calmly the probable consequences of such an eventuality. The weighty words of *Mr. Morley on Friday should give the champions of law and order pause. Referring to the dynamite faction in America, he declared, and urgently commended to the attention of the House, his opinion that in opposing the establishment of a Domestic Legislature for Ireland, the House would be doing exactly what those desperadoes with their dynamite and daggers would most desire.” If Englishmen are cowed by stuff like this, they must have degenerated from the men of Agincourt [Hundred Years War], Waterloo [Napoleonic War], and Inkermann [Crimean War]. Document Questions Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? For what purpose was it written? What does Archbishop Walsh suggest will happen in the event of a rejection of Gladstone’s Home Rule bill? [Paragraph, The British Government…] What does J.B. O’Reilly say in relation to the Home Rule bill? [Line, The deliberate speech…] What is the central premise of John Morley’s speech? [Paragraph, It would be well…] Interpretation and Criticism Do we know how Maguire obtained the information provided in this document? Would you say that Maguire was selective in his use of sources in this document? To what extent did Maguire misrepresent what the Irish World said? Was Maguire a neutral party, or did he have opinions and interests that might have influenced what he said in the document? Wider Context ‘If the Parnellites cannot appreciate British Freedom – the largest the world ever saw – it shows they are not fit for Home Rule.’ Write a critique of this statement from the prospective of an advocate of Home Rule.
  32. 32. 32 Are there any links between the constitutional methods advocated by Parnell in his political campaigns and the threat of violence which Maguire so vividly describes in this document? Using the evidence in this source and information obtained from your textbook, examine the influence of religious factors in the opposition to Home Rule.
  33. 33. 33 Document 11 Extract from A bill to amend the provision for the future government of Ireland (House of Commons Bill (1886), [181]). Description of Document Also known as the ‘Government of Ireland bill’ or the ‘Home Rule bill of 1886’, the bill, which was printed in April 1886, marked the first of Gladstone’s attempts to secure a separate legislature for Ireland. A bill is merely a proposal for legislation by government; before it is enacted and becomes law it must achieve a majority in both Houses of Parliament and receive the Queen’s assent. A bill is usually deposited in the library of the House of Commons where members may take a copy and read it before making a decision on which way to vote. Making what many historians consider to be one of his finest speeches to parliament, Gladstone commended this bill to the House of Commons on 8 April 1886. In his speech Gladstone noted: ‘Do not let us disguise ourselves. We stand face to face with what is termed Irish nationality. Irish nationality vents itself in the demand for local autonomy or separate and complete self-government in Irish not in Imperial affairs. Is this an evil in itself?’ *Parnell responded positively and claimed that the provisions of the bill offered a ‘final settlement’ to the Home Rule question. On 7 June the bill was defeated by 343 to 319 votes, forcing Gladstone to resign and call an election. Edited Transcript of Document A Bill to amend the provision for the future Government of Ireland Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: PART 1 Legislative Authority 1. On and after the appointed day there shall be established in Ireland a legislature consisting of Her Majesty the Queen and an Irish Legislative body… 3. The Legislature of Ireland shall not make laws relating to the following matters or any of them:- (1) The status or dignity of the Crown, or the succession to the Crown, or a Regency; (2) The making of peace or war; (3) The army, navy, militia, volunteers, or any other military or naval forces, or the defence of the realm; (4) Treaties and other relations with foreign States, or the relations between the various parts of Her Majesty’s dominions (5) Treason, alienage, or naturalization (6) Trade, navigation, or quarantine
  34. 34. 34 (7) The postal and telegraph service (8) The coinage; the value of foreign money; legal tender … 4. The Irish Legislature shall not make any law – (1) Respecting the establishment or endowment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or (2) Imposing any disability, or conferring any privilege, on account of religious belief; or (3) Abrogating or derogating from the right to establish or maintain any place of denominational education or any denominational institution or charity; or (4) Prejudicially affecting the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction of that school… (5) Imposing or relating to duties of customs and duties of excise, as defined by this Act… Constitution of Legislative Body 9 – (1) The Irish Legislative Body shall consist of a first and second order… 10 – (1) The first order of the Irish Legislative Body shall consist of one hundred and three members, of whom seventy-five shall be elective members and twenty- eight peerage members (2) Each elective member shall at the date of his election and during his period of membership be bon_ fide possessed of property which – (a) if realty, or partly realty and partly personalty, yields two hundred pounds a year or upwards, free of all charges; or (b) if personalty yields the same income, or is of the capital value of four thousand pounds or upward, free of all charges. Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? In what circumstances was it produced? Are there any terms mentioned in the document with which you are unfamiliar?
  35. 35. 35 What kind of laws is the new Irish legislature prohibited from passing according to the terms of this bill? [Part I, Legislative Authority] What other restrictions are placed upon the Irish legislature? [Clause 4] What are the financial qualifications required of a prospective M.P. seeking election to the new legislature? [Constitution of Legislative Body] Interpretation and Criticism Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the bill. Why do you believe the British government was insistent that so many restrictions be placed upon any new Irish legislature? What was the purpose of the property qualification for prospective members in the new Irish legislature? Wider Context and Comparison Consider whether this Home Rule bill gave, as Gladstone argued, full voice to Irish nationality. Why did Parnell believe that the terms of this bill offered a ‘final settlement’ to the Irish Question? Overall, how does this document contribute to your knowledge of the Home Rule question?
  36. 36. 36 Document 12 A pamphlet, Address to the electors of Midlothian by the Right Hon. W.E. *Gladstone ([London], 1886). Description of Document Although born in Liverpool both of *Gladstone’s parents were Scottish and in parliament he represented the constituency of Midlothian. A tour of the constituency, meeting the electorate and making speeches were essential components of electioneering. Gladstone was particularly adept at ‘meeting the people’ and his speeches to huge crowds on the issues of the day were widely reported. This pamphlet publishes an address to his electors in Midlothian but it is clearly aimed at a national audience. Having seen his Home Rule bill defeated in parliament in June 1886, Gladstone appealed to the country for support. In the Address Gladstone refers to Grattan’s Parliament, which had obtained nominal legislative independence from 1782 to 1800 and to the legislative union of Britain and Ireland in 1801. Gladstone also outlines his reasons for advocating Home Rule and rebukes those who would make it a party rather than a purely constitutional issue. Edited Transcript of Document Mr. Gladstone’s Appeal to the Country. Address to the Electors of Midlothian, June 12th , 1886 Gentlemen: In consequence of the defeat of the Bill for the better Government of Ireland, the Ministry have advised and Her Majesty has been pleased to sanction, a dissolution of Parliament for the decision by the nation of the gravest, and likewise the simplest, issue which has been submitted to it for half a century… Two clear, positive, intelligible plans are before the world. There is the plan of Government; and there is the plan of Lord Salisbury. Our plan is, that Ireland should, under well-considered conditions, transact her own affairs. His plan is to ask Parliament for new repressive laws, and to enforce them resolutely for twenty years: at the end of which time, he assures us, Ireland will be fit to accept any gifts, in the way of local government or the repeal of coercion laws, that you may wish to give her… Our opponents, Gentlemen, whether Tories or Seceders [renegade Liberals], have assumed the name of Unionists. I deny their title to it. In attention, indeed, we are all Unionists alike, but the Union which they refuse to modify, is in its present shape a Paper Union, obtained by force and fraud, and never sanctioned or accepted by the Irish nation. They are not Unionists, but Paper-Unionists. True union is to be tested by the sentiments of human beings united. Tried by this criterion, we have less union between Great Britain and Ireland now, than we had under the settlement of 1782 …
  37. 37. 37 Among the benefits, Gentlemen, which I anticipate from your acceptance of our policy are these: The consolidation of the unity of the Empire, and a great addition to its strength. The stoppage of a heavy, constant, and demoralising waste of the public treasure. The abatement and gradual extinction of ignoble feuds in Ireland, and that development of her resources which experience shows to be the natural consequence of free and orderly government. The redemption of the honour of Great Britain from a stigma fastened upon her, almost from time immemorial, in respect to Ireland, by the judgment of the whole civilized world… You know how, for the last six years especially, the affairs of England and Scotland have been impeded, and your Imperial Parliament discredited and disabled. All this happened, while Nationalists were but a small minority of Irish members, without support from so much as a handful of members not Irish. Now they approach ninety, and are entitled to say, “We speak the voice of the Irish nation.” It is impossible to deal with this subject by half-measures. They are strong in their numbers, strong in British support which has brought 313 members to vote for their country, and strongest of all in the sense of being right. Document Questions Description and Comprehension What class of document is this? When was it written? In what circumstances was it written? What, according to Gladstone, are the choices facing the electorate? [Paragraph, Two clear…] What accusations does Gladstone level at the Tories and those he calls ‘seceders’? [Paragraph, Our opponents…] What does Gladstone say in the Address about his hopes for Ireland when it had achieved Home Rule? [Paragraph, Among the benefits…] Interpretation and Criticism What do you already know about the issues to which the document refers? From your reading of the Address how do you believe Gladstone accounted for his fall from power in 1886? How credible is the Address on this score? How realistic are Gladstone’s hopes for Ireland when it had achieved Home Rule?
  38. 38. 38 Is this an effective speech? How well does Gladstone structure his argument? Wider Context Why does Gladstone assert that a ‘Paper Union’ exists between Britain and Ireland at this time? How does he characterise the status quo in Ireland? Gladstone insisted that he had come to accept Irish Home Rule by ‘the slow and relentless forces of conviction.’ Having read the Address, do you believe his assertion? In what ways does this document add to your understanding of the reasons why Gladstone was ‘converted’ to Home Rule in 1886?